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Five things to know about Sunburst Youth Academy

Nov 2, 2022

A non-traditional high school in Orange County is giving students who’ve faced significant obstacles a second chance at life.

Operated by the California National Guard in partnership with OCDE, Sunburst Youth Academy is a community high school for at-risk youth. Students who attend the program are immersed for five and a half months in a military-style environment where they can earn high school credits while developing leadership, pride, confidence and academic skills.

During their time at Sunburst, cadets live on base, attend high school during the day and work on physical fitness, life skills, team building and goal setting activities before and after school.

Sunburst Youth Academy Principal Dinah Ismail and Admissions Coordinator Sergeant Ryan Salvoni.

The academy focuses on the following eight core components of instruction: Academic Excellence, Job Skills, Physical Fitness, Life Coping Skills, Leadership/Followership, Health and Hygiene, Service to the Community and Responsible Citizenship.

But, like every other aspect of our society, the pandemic has changed the way the recruitment process works for Sunburst. Due to school closures, scheduled visits to local campuses were not able to happen this year. But that hasn’t stopped the team from trying new ways to spread the word about the life-changing transformations that happen at Sunburst...

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